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U.S. MNT Set For Semifinal Round Qualifier Against El Salvador on Saturday


U.S. Men's National Team Training Camp Update
September 3, 2004
Boston, Mass.

ussoccer.com has compiled a comprehensive look at the matchup against El Salvador in the second game of semifinal round qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.  From stats and scores, to highlights and notes, right here is the best place to find info as the USA's qualifying campaign continues from Foxboro on Saturday, September 4 at 4 p.m. ET live on Fox Sports World and Telemundo.  Fans can also follow along to the match live with ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

BY THE NUMBERS:  Want to know how many times the U.S. and El Salvador have squared off all-time, and who has the upper hand?  Know which two players on tomorrow's roster scored against El Salvador in the last meeting during the 2003 Gold Cup in this very stadium? Can you name the U.S. player who returned to the national team for the first time since the 2002 World Cup in that same game?  For the complete statistical breakdown of the U.S.-El Salvador series, click here.

VANNEY ONE-ON-ONE: 
U.S. defender Greg Vanney seems finally to be settling into form.  After missing out on the 2002 World Cup with a knee injury and inconsistent form after a move to France, the left-footed defender has found a steady role at Bastia and has quietly regained the confidence to put him in position for a regular place in the USA's World Cup qualifying campaign.  After playing eight games for the MNT in 2003 - the most of his career - Vanney tallied his first international goal in second-half stoppage time of the USA's 3-0 win against Grenada in the first match of 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying.  Read on as Vanney reveals his thoughts on his past, present and future in this week's version of "one-on-one."

ONALFO ON EL SALVADOR: U.S. Assistant Coach Curt Onalfo once again sheds light on this weekend's opponent, looking at El Salvador's recent results, tendencies, and who and what to watch out for as the USA seeks three points in its first home match of the semifinal round.  From players, formations and tactics, Onalfo provides a coach's insight in this week's Scouting Report.

NEW TO ussoccer.com: ALL_ACCESS VIDEO!  ussoccer.com continues to grow and now offers the next step on inside access - behind the scenes video .  Reports from training camp will be available on the website beginning this week with transmissions from Boston.  In the first segments, U.S. Manager Bruce Arena talks about "team building", Frankie Hejduk, Kasey Keller and Eddie Lewis discuss the upcoming match against El Salvador, and Bobby Convey and Clint Mathis explain why there is no place like home. To access the segments, click here and scroll down to the All Access video icons in the notes.

IN FOXBORO:

  • The U.S. Men’s National Team holds a 11-1-3 lifetime record in Foxboro.  The team collected an unblemished 7-0-3 record at Foxboro Stadium, suffering their only loss in Foxboro at Gillette Stadium in a 2-0 loss to Holland in the final game of the Nike "Road to Korea" in 2002.
  • The team has never lost a World Cup qualifying match in Foxboro. Of the five played at Foxboro Stadium, four were victories against El Salvador, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica, and one was a 2-2 tie with Mexico.
  • The last time the U.S. played a qualifier in Foxboro, the team defeated Jamaica 2-1 on the strength of two goals by current New England Revolution forward Joe-Max Moore, qualifying that day for the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
  • The U.S. has played El Salvador twice in Foxboro, winning both games by a margin of two goals. Forward Brian McBride scored three of United States’ six goals in those two matches.
  • The U.S. men have recorded six shutouts at Foxboro and Gillette Stadium combined, including two in World Cup qualifying play.

ARENA TO HIT THE BIG 5-0: With a victory against El Salvador this Saturday, U.S. Manager Bruce Arena would record his 50th career win for the United States.  During a six-year run that began in 1998, Arena has already established several records, including most victories (49), highest winning percentage (.641), and longest tenure, while leading the U.S. to it's historic quarterfinal finish in the 2002 FIFA World Cup. 

THE SEMIFINAL ROUND SETUP:  The semifinal round will consist of three four-team groups playing a six-game round robin competition, with the top two finishers from each group moving onto the final round of qualifying in 2005.  Taking place from Aug.18-Nov.17, the U.S. and Jamaica are joined in Group 1 by El Salvador and Panama.  Group 2 consists of Canada, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras, while Group 3 is made up of Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.  El Salvador has jumped out to an early lead in Group 1, having posted a 2-1 victory home to Panama on matchday one, with the U.S. and Jamaica splitting the spoils in Kingston.  For a complete look at all the standings and schedules for CONCACAF qualifying, click here.

PROCEED WITH CAUTION: As both El Salvador and the United States begin to get deeper and deeper into World Cup qualifying, the yellow card watch is becoming more prominent with each match. Any player who receives yellow cards in two matches of qualifying, regardless of the round, will be suspended for the next game. With both teams having played three qualifiers, here is a look at their players sitting on one yellow card:
USA (4): Cory Gibbs, Eddie Lewis, Eddie Pope and Claudio Reyna
SLV (8): Nidelson De Melo, Marvin Gonzalez, Mario Guevara, Diego Mejia, Gilberto Murgas, Erick Prado, Jorge Rodriguez and Wiliam Torres

QUICK HITS:

  • Three players have been returned to their clubs to participate in weekend matches.  Eddie Gaven and Jonny Walker will join the MetroStars for their away match in Kansas City, while Dallas forward Eddie Johnson heads to Colorado for the Burn-Rapids contest Saturday night.  All three players will return to the U.S. camp in Boston on Sunday.
  • Eddie Pope experienced tightness in his right hip and did not train Thursday.  He will continue to be evaluated daily to determine his fitness for Saturday.
  • The U.S. has a 2-0-2 lifetime record in World Cup qualifying against El Salvador, and a 1-0-1 record on U.S. soil.  All time, the USA holds a 10-1-4 advantage in the series.
  • Nine players on the roster started in the USA’s 1-1 draw against Jamaica on Aug. 18, the opening match of semifinal round qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.  All told, 18 of the 23 players were in Kingston.
  • DaMarcus Beasley leads the U.S. in goal scoring in 2004 with four tallies, including three in the second round qualifying series against Grenada.  He recorded his first multiple-goal game in the June 13 qualifier in Columbus.  Beasley also leads the team in games played (10) and minutes played (810).
  • Brian McBride has six goals all-time against the Azules, leading all U.S. scorers, and is second on the USA’s all-time goal scoring charts with 25 goals.  He's proven the ability to score against El Salvador when it counts, as two goals came in the USA's 4-2 victory in a 1998 World Cup qualifier on Nov. 16, 1997 at Foxboro Stadium, while he tallied a goal and an assist in the 2-0 victory in the opening game of the 2003 Gold Cup in Foxboro last July.
  • The U.S. has shown itself to be a 90-minute team in 2004, a credit to the side's conditioning and mentality.  Of the 16 goals scored in 2004, nine have come in the final 15 minutes.  Two of those goals sealed a U.S. victory, and four of them secured a draw after the team trailed 1-0.
  • San Jose Earthquakes forward Brian Ching, whose 89th minute strike against Jamaica earned the U.S. an important point on the road and handed Ching honors as Chevrolet Man of the Match, has played just three times for the United States, and has yet to make is first start.  Ching is currently tied atop the MLS goal-scoring chart with 11 goals.
  • The U.S. is currently enjoying a seven-match unbeaten run, which included at one point four consecutive shutout victories by four different goalkeepers.  Kicking off with a 1-0 win away to Poland on March 31, the streak also includes wins against Mexico (1-0), Honduras (4-0), and a 3-0 World Cup qualifying win against Grenada.  Overall the team looks to improve on its 5-1-4 record in 2004.
  • Manchester United goalkeeper Tim Howard returns to the fold for the third time this year, having appeared in the USA’s 4-0 victory against Honduras on June 2 in Foxboro and the 1-1 draw against Poland on July 11 in Chicago.  The 2004 EPL Goalkeeper of the Year earned his first cap for the United States in the 2-0 victory against El Salvador on Nov. 17, 2002 in Washington, D.C.
  • Long-time team captain Claudio Reyna is set to lead the U.S. side, the Manchester City midfielder now sitting on 103 international appearances in his career.  Reyna made his return to the national team lineup for the first time since the 2002 FIFA World Cup in last year’s 2-0 victory against El Salvador on July 12, 2003, in the opening match of the 2003 Gold Cup.
  • Kasey Keller is tops on the all-time win list for U.S. goalkeepers with 39 wins in 71 appearances, having surpassed Tony Meola in the USA's 3-0 win against Grenada in the first leg of second round qualifying on June 13 in Columbus. Keller’s clean sheet that day was the 34th of his career, extending his U.S. record.
  • Also recording a personal milestone on that day was Greg Vanney, whose important strike in second half stoppage time marked the first goal of his U.S. career after 29 appearances.
  • The U.S. will wear an all-white strip tomorrow, the first time since the team debuted their new Nike uniforms in February against Holland.  The team wore a similiar combination in the 1-1 draw with Korea at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
LAST TIME…

On the field for the USA
August 18, 2004 – National Stadium, Kingston – FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Semifinal Round, Group 1
Jamaica    1    Ian Goodison 49
USA           1    Brian Ching 89

JAM – 30-Donovan Ricketts; 5-Ian Goodison, 6-Marlon King (10-Ricardo Fuller, 66), 8-Micah Hyde, 9-Andrew Williams, 11-Theodore Whitmore, 14-Tyrone Marshall, 15-Ricardo Gardner, 17-Damani Ralph, 22-Fabian Davis, 25-Claude Davis.

USA – 18-Kasey Keller; 2-Frankie Hejduk, 3-Greg Vanney, 4-Carlos Bocanegra, 8-Earnie Stewart (13-Cobi Jones, 67), 10-Claudio Reyna, 14-Chris Armas (7-Eddie Lewis, 76), 17-DaMarcus Beasley, 20-Brian McBride (25-Brian Ching, 60), 21-Landon Donovan, 23-Eddie Pope.

On the field for El Salvador
August 18, 2004 – Cuscatlan Stadium, San Salvador – FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Semifinal Round, Group 1
El Salvador    2    Victor Velasquez 7,  Jorge Rodriguez 45
Panama          1    Julio Dely Valdez 36

SLV –
1-Noel Rivera; 4-Mario Guevara, 5-Victor Velasquez, 6-Erick Prado, 10-Ernesto Gochez (15-Nildeson Silva, 51; 3-Marvin Gonzalez, 87), 11-Ronald Cerritos, 17-Jorge Rodriguez, 18-Gilberto Murgas, 19-Alfredo Pacheco, 21-Naun Galdamez (9-Diego Mejia), 23-Jose Martinez.

PAN –
1-Ricardo James; 2-Victor Miranda, 3-Luis Moreno, 4-Luis Henriquez, 5-Carlos Rivera, 6-Engin Mitre, 7-Angel Lombardo (15-Gabriel Gomez, 39), 8-Alberto Blanco (17-Jose Garces, 60), 9-Julio Dely, 10-Julio Medina (18-Jorge Dely), 11-Ricardo Phillips.

Vs. El Salvador
July 12, 2003 –Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Massachusetts – CONCACAF Gold Cup, Group C
United States    2        Eddie Lewis 28, Brian McBride 76
El Salvador       0  

USA
18-Kasey Keller; 3-Greg Vanney, 4-Carlos Bocanegra, 12-Danny Califf, 2-Frankie Hejduk; 25-Pablo Mastroeni, 10-Claudio Reyna (capt.) (11-Clint Mathis, 60), 7-Eddie Lewis (15-Bobby Convey, 83), 8-Earnie Stewart (19-Steve Ralston, 71); 21-Landon Donovan, 20-Brian McBride.

SLV
22-Juan Gomez (capt.); 5-Victor Velasquez, 3-Marvin Gonzalez (4-Julio Castro, 90), 19-Alfredo Pacheco; 18-Gilberto Murgas, 2-William Torres, 24-Guillermo Moran, 11-William Torres Alegria (7-Ramon Sanchez, 44); 14-Rudis Corrales, 12-Juan Campos (8-Santos Cabrera, 74), 9-Diego Mejia.

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